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The worst thing about being devoted to a TV show is having to say goodbye to the characters you’ve grown to love once the series ends. But, luckily for us, cast reunions are a common — and often lucrative — proposition for networks.
These days, old shows get dusted off and brought back with their original casts all the time. Just in the past couple of years, shows such as “Roseanne,” “The X-Files,” “Will & Grace” and “Murphy Brown” have gotten orders for new episodes. However, before full-series reboots were commonplace, ex-castmates would sometimes pop up together on new shows, playing new characters.
We’ve rounded up some former TV co-stars who’ve reunited on other shows, much to the delight of their fans.
Amy Poehler & Nick Offerman (‘Parks and Recreation’)
NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” was packed full of zany characters and memorable moments, but maybe no two figures in the show stood taller than Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman. The clash of styles between Poehler’s always-upbeat Leslie Knope and her boss, Offerman’s ultra-grumpy Ron Swanson, were what made the show a fan favorite for seven seasons until it ended in 2015.
Amy Poehler & Nick Offerman (‘Making It’)
In 2018, NBC brought Poehler and Offerman back together in a very different type of series: a reality competition show about crafting. Offscreen, Offerman is a skilled woodworker while Poehler is a self-proclaimed amateur at crafting. “Making it” shows off how sweet and supportive these two are in real life.
Courteney Cox & Jennifer Aniston (‘Friends’)
For 10 seasons and more than 230 episodes, Courteney Cox and Jennifer Aniston played lifelong pals Monica and Rachel in NBC’s “Friends.” When the show aired its blockbuster final episode in 2004, fans used up plenty of tissues thinking they’d seen the last of these BFFs.
Courteney Cox & Jennifer Aniston (‘Cougar Town’)
Six years after “Friends” signed off, Aniston proved she’d be there for Cox by appearing in her campy ABC series “Cougar Town.” In the 2010 episode “All Mixed Up,” Aniston played a wacky therapist who treated Cox’s character, Jules. Cox and Aniston are friends in real life, which should make rewatching “Friends” on Netflix for the 50th time even more enjoyable.
Matt LeBlanc & David Schwimmer (‘Friends’)
Another pair of actors who got to know each other quite well during the run of “Friends” is Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer, who played Joey and Ross. By the end of the series, LeBlanc and Schwimmer, along with the other four main actors, were getting paid $1 million per episode. If that doesn’t make you appreciate your co-stars I don’t know what would!
Matt LeBlanc & David Schwimmer (‘Episodes’)
From 2011 to 2017, LeBlanc played himself in Showtime’s British-produced series “Episodes.” One moment that thrilled fans happened in a 2015 episode when Schwimmer made a cameo as himself, running into LeBlanc at a wild party. Behind the scenes, Schwimmer also directed a couple episodes of LeBlanc’s “Friends” spin-off, “Joey.”
Edie Falco & Aida Turturro (‘The Sopranos’)
HBO’s groundbreaking series “The Sopranos” was loaded with great characters who had complex relationships. Among them was the rocky sister-in-law relationship between Edie Falco’s Carmela Soprano and Aida Turturro’s Janice Soprano.
Edie Falco & Aida Turturro (‘Nurse Jackie’)
When “The Sopranos” ended in 2007, Falco was one of the stars who quickly found a new job. For seven seasons, starting in 2009, she starred in Showtime’s “Nurse Jackie.” In the 2012 episode “Day of the Iguana,” Turturro played a divorce lawyer hired by Falco’s Jackie.
Lauren Graham & Mae Whitman (‘Parenthood’)
NBC’s “Parenthood” was full of family moments that could make you smile or cry — and some of the show’s best came from the mother-daughter duo of Lauren Graham and Mae Whitman. Graham’s Sarah and Whitman’s Amber had a relationship that was sometimes rough but also sweet, and the chemistry between the two actors made their story feel more real than many others on the series.
Lauren Graham & Mae Whitman (‘Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life’)
When “Parenthood” ended in 2015, fans of Graham and Whitman’s onscreen chemistry didn’t have to wait long to see them reunited. Whitman had a quick but funny cameo in Graham’s Netflix revival of “Gilmore Girls” in 2016. Away from TV, Whitman has said that Graham is her best friend and that the older co-star has even written break-up texts for her.
Eric McCormack & Debra Messing (‘Will & Grace’)
For more than 200 episodes and nine seasons (so far), Debra Messing and Eric McCormack have delighted audiences as the titular best friends in NBC’s “Will & Grace.” The groundbreaking show originally ran from 1998 to 2006 but was renewed again for new episodes in 2017. In the show, Messing’s Grace is a straight interior designer while McCormack’s Will is a gay lawyer.
Eric McCormack & Debra Messing (‘The Mysteries of Laura’)
Messing is just about impossible to dislike, but her 2014 NBC series “The Mysteries of Laura” only lasted two seasons before being canceled. That lighthearted police drama did feature a “Will & Grace” reunion, however, when McCormack showed up for a 2015 episode. In “The Mystery of the Exsanguinated Ex,” McCormack played an arrogant doctor whom Messing’s Detective Laura Diamond had previously dated.
Mariska Hargitay & Anthony Edwards (‘ER’)
In 1997, “ER” was one of the biggest shows on TV, and co-stars Anthony Edwards and Mariska Hargitay gave its fans a memorable — if too-short — romance. For 13 episodes during the medical drama’s fourth season, Hargitay played hospital desk clerk Cynthia Hooper, who dated Edwards’ Dr. Mark Greene.
Mariska Hargitay & Anthony Edwards (‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’)
Although their “ER” romance was fleeting, Hargitay and Edwards have said they loved working together. Proving that, the pair reunited for a 2016 episode of Hargitay’s long-running drama “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” In the episode, Edwards played a police sergeant who was the first partner of Hargitay’s Lt. Olivia Benson.
Michelle Williams & Busy Philipps (‘Dawson’s Creek’)
The WB’s “Dawson’s Creek” was a landmark for ’90s teen TV. From 1998 to 2003, the drama followed a tight-knit group of teens as they came of age in small-town Massachusetts. Michelle Williams co-starred as Jen Lindley from the start of the series, and Busy Philipps joined the cast in the fifth season as Audrey Liddell, who became friends with Jen and the other main characters once they went off to college.
Michelle Williams & Busy Philipps (‘Cougar Town’)
Another awesome co-star reunion brought to you by “Cougar Town” was between Williams and Philipps. In the 2013 episode “Blue Sunday,” Williams played the sister of Philipps’ Laurie. In real life, these two actors are actual BFFs. In 2013, Philipps also reunited with fellow “Dawson’s Creek” alum James Van Der Beek in an episode of “Don’t Trust the B—— in Apartment 23.”
Tim Allen & Patricia Richardson (‘Home Improvement’)
Another beloved TV couple of the ’90s was Tim and Jill Taylor from ABC’s “Home Improvement.” The show ran for more than 200 episodes over eight seasons in which Patricia Richardson and Tim Allen played the loving couple and parents of three sons. The show ended in 1999, and it would be another 16 years before those actors would reunite onscreen.
Tim Allen & Patricia Richardson (‘Last Man Standing’)
Fans of “Home Improvement” were delighted to see Richardson pop up in a 2015 episode of Allen’s ABC/Fox comedy “Last Man Standing.” In the episode, Richardson plays a nosy neighbor of Allen’s character, Mike Baxter. In the same episode, the pair’s “Home Improvement” son, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, also made an appearance.
Jerry Seinfeld & Jason Alexander (‘Seinfeld’)
For 169 episodes spanning nine seasons, Jerry Seinfeld and Jason Alexander played best friends Jerry and George in NBC’s beloved “Seinfeld.” When the infamous final episode aired in 1998, fans thought they’d probably seen the last of these two nitpicking pals.
Jerry Seinfeld & Jason Alexander (‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’)
Ever since “Seinfeld” signed off for good, people were clamoring for a reunion — and it finally happened in 2009. On an episode of HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” — which stars “Seinfeld” co-creator Larry David — Seinfeld and Alexander (as well as Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Michael Richards) came back together for a show-within-the-show “Seinfeld” reunion.
Ashton Kutcher & Danny Masterson (‘That ’70s Show’)
Fox’s “That ’70s Show” was kind of like “Happy Days” for the late-’90s, making young viewers nostalgic for a decade they never lived through. Among the show’s great cast were Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson, who played burned-out friends Kelso and Hyde. The show went off the air in 2006 after eight seasons.
Ashton Kutcher & Danny Masterson (‘The Ranch’)
Ten years after the final episode of “That ‘70s Show,” Kutcher and Masterson reunited as co-stars of Netflix’s sitcom “The Ranch.” In the series, they play brothers who work on their family ranch and also happen to be burn-outs. In 2017, the show’s future came into question after Masterson was written out following allegations of sexual assault.
Allison Janney & Bradley Whitford (‘The West Wing’)
For seven seasons, from 1999 to 2006, Allison Janney and Bradley Whitford helped anchor the outstanding cast of NBC’s political drama “The West Wing.” Janney, as White House Press Secretary C.J. Cregg, and Whitford, as Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman, each won Emmy Awards for their work on the series.
Allison Janney & Bradley Whitford (‘Mom’)
Since 2013, Janney has been starring in the CBS sitcom “Mom,” playing the critical mother of a recovering alcoholic. Whitford was a guest star of a 2017 episode, playing a rowdy friend of Janney’s boyfriend who makes a pass at her.
Ed O’Neill & Katey Sagal (‘Married… with Children’)
As Al and Peggy Bundy, “Married… with Children” co-stars Ed O’Neill and Katey Sagal gave TV viewers a look at unbridled wedded bliss. OK, maybe not, but for 11 seasons, they were so perfect at playing unhappy that they are still remembered as one of TV’s most iconic couples. Al and Peg said goodbye to viewers in 1997 — but O’Neill and Sagal would reunite.
Ed O’Neill & Katey Sagal (‘8 Simple Rules’)
Eight years after “Married… with Children” went off the air, the co-stars got back together for an episode of Sagal’s ABC sitcom “8 Simple Rules.” In 2005’s “Old Flame,” O’Neill played an ex-boyfriend of Sagal’s character, Cate, whom she connects with after her husband dies. Sagal also reunited with her “8 Simple Rules” daughter, Kaley Cuoco, in a 2016 episode of “The Big Bang Theory,” where she again played the actress’ mother.
Mindy Kaling & B.J. Novak (‘The Office’)
NBC’s “The Office” remains a favorite today thanks to its countless classic episodes and memorable characters. Two of the most memorable members of the Dunder Mifflin staff were Mindy Kaling’s Kelly and B.J. Novak’s Ryan, whose on-again-off-again relationship was usually nauseating.
Mindy Kaling & B.J. Novak (‘The Mindy Project’)
It turns out that Kaling and Novak are good friends in real life — something many fans hope will turn romantic. In Kaling’s Fox/Hulu series, “The Mindy Project,” Novak has shown up as an ex-boyfriend of her lead character. Novak has also written and directed several episodes of the series.
Dominic West & John Doman (‘The Wire’)
For five seasons of HBO’s classic series “The Wire,” Dominic West’s character, Detective Jimmy McNulty, had a hate-hate relationship with his boss at the Baltimore Police Department, John Doman’s Bill Rawls. The two actors had many rough exchanges which often included Doman hammering West with a stream of expletive-laden insults. When “The Wire” ended in 2008, fans might’ve thought they’d seen the last of this pair’s entertaining arguing.
Dominic West & John Doman (‘The Affair’)
When Showtime’s dark, sexy drama “The Affair” debuted in 2014, the first episode brought West and Doman back together — and once again, their characters hated each other. This time, Doman played a successful author and West played his son-in-law who was an unsuccessful author. These veteran actors were out of police uniforms and used more eloquent language but each still knew how to cut through the other with harsh words.